You Have Till November to Comply With IPPIS; FG Tells ASUU

Mall Adamu Adamu, Education Minister
  • Directive Not For Us – Says ASUU

THE federal government has given the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) up to November 2020 to comply with the directive to enlist on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) or be completely removed from federal government payroll. This is contained in a directive dated October 8, 2020 from the office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) to Vice Chancellors of all federal universities.

Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU President

The directive, sighted by National Record, entitled; “Stoppage of Salaries of University Staff That Are Yet to Be Enrolled On IPPIS Platform” is signed by the director of IPPIS in the office of the Accountant general of the Federation, Dr Nsikak Ben, and addressed to bursars through the Committee of Vice Chancellors of all federal universities.

Dr Nsikak said: “I am directed to inform you that any Staff of your Institution who has not enrolled on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), either as a result of Study Leave (with pay), Maternity Leave or on Medical ground, will no longer appear on the IPPIS payroll with effect from November, 2020 payroll, except such Staff presents himself/herself for the biometric data capture at the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF), Abuja with an introduction letter/IPPIS Enrollment forms duly endorsed by the principal authorities of the Institution.

“In addition, all supporting documents should include evidence of six months’ salary bank statement.

“In view of the above, kindly inform your staff in this category to URGENTLY avail themselves for the biometric data capture at the OAGF. However, exemption may only be given where institutions provide evidence of Study Leave, stating the duration to justify such persons being retained on the payroll.”

Although ASUU has been on strike since February this year in resistance against federal government’s forcible enforcement of the IPPIS in all federal universities, its opposition to the payment platform persisted since 2019.

While the federal government insists on the compulsory enrolment of federal universities on the IPPIS for the payment of salaries as a way of checking fraud especially incidences of ghost workers in government payroll, ASUU however kicked against it arguing that the IPPIS would undermine university autonomy due largely to certain peculiarities in the university system.

Late last year, the federal government threatened to stop the salaries of university lecturers who fail to comply with the directive to enroll on the platform. ASUU matched the threat with an ultimatum to the government to reverse the decision or risk a shutdown of the university system through a nationwide strike.

While President Buhari at a point personally intervened and directed that the lecturers be paid pending when issues that affected the enlistment process were resolved, ASUU went on strike sometime in February 2020, with further grievances that there were huge deductions from the salaries of some of its members who had been forced to enroll on the IPPIS platform.

While presenting the 2021 budget before a joint session of the National Assembly on October 8, 2020, President Buhari reiterated that only federal workers duly captured by the IPPIS would continue to receive salaries and declared that the platform was meant to check fraud, including the payment of salaries to non-existent personnel as well as payment of unauthorised allowances.

IPPIS not for us – ASUU

While responding to the President’s comment, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU President, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said university lecturers are not affected by directive but only civil servants.

“The directive was meant for civil servants; university academics are not civil servants. We have an understanding with the government to develop an alternative platform which would be sensitive to the operations of the university and accommodate its peculiarities.

“The platform we are developing will also respect the autonomy of our universities as obtained globally.

“The idea of seeking clearance from the Head of Service or the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation is alien to university operations because it will halt its flexibility.

“The University Miscellaneous (Provisions) (Amendment)Act (2003), which government gazetted as University Autonomy Act (2007), has vested the powers of personnel and payroll system issues in the hands of each university’s governing council,” NAN quoted Prof Ogunyemi as saying.

He added that ASUU, on January 9, 2019, “reached an understanding with Mr President to develop its proposed University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), for testing and adoption for managing personnel information and payroll system in the universities.

“We have since done that and presented to the Federal Ministry of Education. What is left is to present to other major stakeholders, particularly in the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

“The development of UTAS was done at no cost to the government. We used contributions from the check-off deductions of ASUU members to finance the project and this cost us millions of naira,” he said.


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